The US Federal Aviation Administration wants to provide a VHF broadcast network to send weather information to the cockpits of appropriately equipped general aviation aircraft. It will soon issue a request for proposals to commercial weather providers to develop and supply the service.

The system will be two-tiered. The first layer will offer cost-free, basic weather information and forecast services to pilots, similar to the well-known Direct User Access Terminal computer-based weather and flight-plan service, which the FAA funds. The second will offer a more advanced service, with real-time maps and live radar.

The FAA declines to issue a timescale for full implementation, but industry sources are confident the system will be in place before the end of next year. Avionics manufacturers are upgrading their latest receivers and panel displays, ready to receive the service.

Source: Flight International